Not so long ago, Tyron Woodley was a dominant UFC welterweight champion. In fact, the Missouri native was being talked as one of the greatest 170-pound fighters to ever do his thing in the Octagon.
A year-and-a-half later, “The Chosen One” is on a three-fight losing run and hasn’t looked anywhere near his best since losing his UFC gold to Kamaru Usman in March, 2019.
After two meagre performances and lopsided losses to Gilbert Burns and, more recently, Colby Covington in 2020, UFC President Dana White indicated that it could be time for “the talk” about retirement from mixed martial arts.
However, Woodley appeared bullish about his MMA future when he addressed his fans on IGTV, saying he’s not willing to hang up the gloves any time soon.
“I’m not retiring – I’m not giving it up,” Woodley said on Instagram. “I’m not switching all my coaches up. I’m not changing the continent I live on. I’m not doing all that.
“Some s**t didn’t happen and guess what? I don’t know why it didn’t happen. I did everything to make it happen. Now we just take a deep breath and see what’s next.”
What’s next for Woodley is some time off for recovery. The 38-year-old picked up a broken rib against Covington in his defeat last Saturday, meaning he has to take time off. Despite his setbacks and the coronavirus pandemic, Woodley has already been more active in 2020 than he was in 2019 and 2018.
This run of poor performances and defeats to match seems to have lit a fire under Woodley away from the cage. It will be interesting to see if that form is replicated inside it if and when he returns.